Skip to content
Skip to navigation menu


Postgraduate Open DayMeet us at our next Open Day on the 30 November.

Social Science Research Methods (Environmental Planning) (MSc/PgDip)

1 year (full-time) / 3 years (part-time) / n/a (distance / e-Learning)

The information below relates to the Environmental Planning pathway of the MSc/PgDip Social Science Research Methods programme.

Special Features of the Environmental Planning pathway

Research training in Environmental Planning, (including Sustainability & Environment Studies, Transport, Spatial Analysis and Urban & Regional Governance) builds upon the internationally recognised research carried out by academic staff within the School of Geography and Planning.

The School is a major international centre for research in the areas of planning, human geography and spatial policy. Its mission is to play an internationally leading role in research and academic inquiry associated with the agenda and debates in the development, management and sustainability of cities, regions and rural spaces. It has been consistently rated the top planning school in the UK in terms of its research environment and number of world-leading researchers. It also contains a significant number of world-leading human geographers, and it is our intention to enhance geographical research agendas within the School during the next few years.

The School is serviced by the Innovation and Engagement Unit, which organises high profile research and public seminars. The research is organised into four large research groups: Environment, Spatial Analysis, Spatial Planning & City Environments, and Urban & Regional Governance. The research activity is very broadly based; it draws upon interdisciplinary social science, particularly the linkages between planning and human geography, and much of it contributes to combinations of academic, policy, practice and professional debates. There is a strong emphasis placed upon engagement of users in research.

The School has a number of research centres which contribute to giving a public view of our work. They include the Sustainable Places Research Institute (PLACE), the Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods (WISERD), the Research Centre for Sustainable Urban and Regional Food (SURF) and the Centre for Research on Environment, Society and Space (CRESS).

Testimonials of Environmental Planning pathway graduates

"The SSRM Environmental pathway allowed me to reflect on the ideas I had for my PhD project – to closely look at the literature and research as craft. It provided me with useful tools for the research I am conducting now and made the PhD experience less stressful. The programme offered space for discussing both the subject of my proposal and methods that could be employed in further investigations. Finally, it helped me to meet many new people at a new university."

SSRM graduate (Environmental Planning pathway) more student views

Description of the Environmental Planning pathway

The MSc in Social Science Research Methods provides students with the opportunity to acquire generic research skills required by all social science researchers; as well as the subject-specific requirements of the ESRC’s Environmental Planning Subject Area Panel. For the taught component, students will be required to complete six 20-credit modules (5 core research modules and 1 pathway module). In all modules students have the opportunity to engage with literature and research relevant to their Pathway (Environmental Planning).

Environmental Planning Module SSRM students on the Environmental Planning Pathway can take an optional environment related module from modules such as: Environmental Policy and Climate Change,  Environmental Management or Planning for Sustainability.
Foundations in Social Research Autumn term: The module introduces philosophical/theoretical concepts alongside practical issues of research method choice and design.
Qualitative Research Methods Autumn & Spring: This main aim of the module is to provide knowledge, training and practice in the collection, analysis and representation of qualitative data.
Quantitative Research Methods Autumn & Spring: This module introduces students to the systematic collection and analysis of quantitative data, including a broad range of commonly used statistical techniques.
Research Applications Spring term: This module critically explores the various applications of research to different settings. Students tailor their learning by selecting from a menu of options.
Developing Core Skills Autumn & Spring: This module introduces students to essential postgraduate social science survival skills. The module ends with an end-of-year Student Conference.

The dissertation in the Environmental Planning pathway

On successful completion of the taught component, students prepare a dissertation (of a maximum 20,000 words) to be submitted by mid-September. The 60-credit dissertation component requires independent study. Dissertation topics are chosen by the students in agreement with their supervisors.

Recent SSRM Environmental Planning thesis titles include:

Entry Requirements for the Enviromental Planning pathway

A good first degree or a recognised equivalent qualification. Non-graduates will be considered if they can demonstrate, through some recent and relevant professional experience, that they have the ability to undertake the course.

This course is suitable for graduates in social science and cognate disciplines including sociology, politics, critical psychology, education, social policy and social work, criminology, management and business studies, history, area studies, geography, pedagogy, public administration, industrial and employee relations, and law.

Note: International students pursuing part-time programmes of study are not eligible for Tier 4 (General Student) visas and must have alternative leave to remain in the UK if they intend to study at the University in person.

Application Deadlines

The deadline for applications from international students for this course is 1st August 2015.

The deadline for applications from home students for this course is 1st September 2015.

Tuition Fees 2016/17

Fees quoted are for the academic session 2016/17. For programmes lasting more than one year, tuition fees for subsequent years of study are subject to an increase of no more than 4.5% per year.

  UK & EU International
Full-time PgDip: £6,000
MSc: £6,000
PgDip: £14,500
MSc: £14,500
Part-time PgDip: £3,000
MSc: £3,000*
PgDip: £7,250
MSc: £7,250*
Deposit n/a Includes a £1,000 deposit. More information about our deposit policy.
Notes * Fees payable in years 1 and 2 only

Next intake: September each year

School Contact

Name: SSRM Administrator Contact  




School Contact

Name: Dr Andrew Kythreotis  

Telephone: +44 (0)29 2087 6063 



School Website:

More information


Contact us